I have a friend from my pre-blogging days who admits to reading my blog from time to time.
Great! I think. The more readers, the better!
But she admitted that she feels guilty reading it. That she feels like a voyeur into my personal life. Yes! That’s the idea of personal blogging. I write about my personal life and invite you to read it. That’s how it works.
I didn’t really understand those feelings until I was invited to review a book from an author I know, online only and in a very specific context.
Years ago, I was browsing a gift shop at an airport and came across a book called “For Every Dog An Angel” – a book about finding your forever pet and understanding that you stay connected to them even in loss. It was a beautiful book that never left my mind and I ended up ordering a copy for my husband just when he needed it most. I went on to buy more copies of that book as well as “For Every Cat An Angel” for my friends in need.
Flash forward a few years after the launch of my blog and I couldn’t stop thinking about those books. I wanted to keep true to my original promise when I started this blog to use my social powers for good. So I contacted the author, Christine Davis, and asked her if I might promote her books that had meant so much to me. She graciously obliged and allowed me to give away some of her books.
Three and half years later, Christine wrote me out of the blue after she read a story about Evan’s magical birthday involving knights and swords.
My new book, Breathing Fire, has just come out. It’s about swords, dragons, magic and a knight who saved me from a terrible spell I was living under. Imagine my delight when I saw the post about Evan’s birthday party and Medieval Times. All I can say is I would have given anything to be there!!
Breathing Fire IS about a serious, and timely, issue – being an adult survivor of childhood abuse. However, the miraculous event that led to the unexpected writing of the book allowed me to tell the story in a fanciful way, with some illustrations, just like my books for animal lovers.
Frankly, I didn’t give the book much thought. I simply said YES because I love Christine’s spirit that comes through in her illustrations and writing. But this book was obviously very, very different. In fact, so different that it’s taken me over three months to read and process.
I finally figured out why. Christine wrote a 99 page book that feels like a blog post. A very personal blog post. And I felt a little like a voyeur.
As many of you that read blogs know, it’s the most honest posts that evoke the biggest reactions and that we try to analyze to death. Christine’s story is a very difficult one to explain. It’s about her own personal journey that touches on family, psychology, spirituality, and, finally, freedom, in the most unexpected way.
I’ve had my own spiritual epiphanies, which is part of why I think I connect so well with Christine (we have a lot of the same ideas and thoughts). And I can tell you from personal experience that it is, indeed, life-changing. Until Christine had her epiphany, she found that everything in her life had been impacted by the abuse she suffered as a child – the clothes she wore, the relationships she had, and even the professions she chose.
Once she had her epiphany and was open to what changes that might bring to her life, she experienced a bit of rebirth.
“Breathing Fire” sounds like heavy reading material but it’s not. It doesn’t take you on a deep, dark journey. It takes you through the moment that Christine learned to face her past and how a television show set her on a quest to find inner strength. And how she came to embrace the representation of that strength – her very own sword.
Finding inner strength is a constant struggle for many of us and before I could write my review of this book, I needed to write my post about giving up therapy and finding my own inner strength. It’s not that therapy isn’t beneficial to many people. It’s simply that it was time for me to stop talking about my life and start living it. In a way, I think Christine went through a similar process where she finally gave herself permission to start living her life.